Donald Miller, best-selling author of books like “Blue Like Jazz” and “A Million Miles in a Thousand Years”, wrote a really great blog on creative productivity and Jon Foreman (words that seem to go hand in hand, don’t they?). Take a look below, or read the source blog HERE. (Thanks Allie!)
I used to feel so much pressure to write something great every day. I felt like my life was a well and I had to draw water out of it every morning. The pressure was intense, and honestly, I often felt like I had nothing else to offer.
How do you draw water from an empty well?
But the guys from Switchfoot came through town one night and the next morning we got together for breakfast. We ate at Mother’s Bistro and then shopped for cowboy boots at an western store down the street.
I don’t know of a single artist more prolific than Jon Foreman. He’s the lead guy for Switchfoot, half the duo of Fiction Family, and still writes enough songs to fill a solo record every year. And his songs are amazing. I wondered how he did it.
When I asked him, he said something that changed my life.
He said, “Don, being creative is like being an archeologist. You just get up every morning and dig around in the dirt, looking for shards of pottery.”
That perspective certainly helped. Rather than the words being in me, the words were out there. The inspiration was out in the world, and all I had to do was go digging for it. All I had to do was brush away the dirt and sand and keep an eye out for anything that could be polished.
Since then, I’ve blogged regularly, continued putting together books, written curriculum for massive corporations and given conferences. I no longer feel like an empty well. I’m just an archeologist digging around for truths – thoughts that will help people.
God put plenty of beauty in the world. It’s the artist’s job to find it, dig it out of the clay and clean it up for presentation.
I certainly hope that helps you. If you feel empty, just know there’s plenty of beauty and truth out there for you to find and present with your unique voice. Everybody polishes the pottery differently. Find it, clean it up and show it to the world and they’ll likely think you’re a genius. I think Jon Foreman is. Don’t you?